You probably remember Mara Wilson as the title character in Matilda or the adorable little girl in Mrs. Doubtfire, but do you know what she’s been doing since then?
The self-described “recovering child actor,” whose memoir Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame is due out Sept. 13th, left Hollywood as a tween after being told she wasn’t cute enough for leading roles — bleh.
Wilson, now 29, recently opened up to People about how being in the industry at such a young age affected her:
“I had good experiences [in Hollywood], but I always knew there were girls much prettier than I was, and I knew that I was always competing with them. That has followed me my whole life. … I realized, ‘I don’t fit their idea of what a Hollywood actress looks like, so there’s no room for me here.’ It’s hard to come out of that sane and without some serious doubts about yourself.”
Her memoir recounts experiences at auditions that led her to doubt herself: She noticed she wasn’t getting parts after puberty and “Something didn’t make sense,” she writes in Where Am I Now?
“At least until I was called for a role in a pilot. I would be auditioning for the ‘fat girl.'”
After that, she decided to quit acting and focus on school.
In an interview with NPR in 2013 she said, “A lot of kids feel very rejected and very uncomfortable. They’re going through puberty, but imagine if the whole rest of the world was basically saying, ‘Yeah, you know what, you are pretty useless. You are pretty ugly.’ And there’s a lot of that out there.”
But, Wilson tells People, “Things have gotten a lot better since I left Hollywood — a great weight lifted.” She graduated from New York University in 2009, and these days you can find her being hilarious on Twitter, promoting her book, working in theatre, and writing.
Wilson says she’s comfortable being back in the spotlight with the release of her book because this time, “it’s on my terms.”
We couldn’t be prouder!